Welcome to the party for Annabeth Albert's new novella, Knit Tight, the latest story in the Portland Heat collection. We have goodies from the author, and some opinions from me. Very happy opinions, I might add.
(Portland Heat Series, #4)
by Annabeth Albert
It’s no secret that Portland, Oregon, has some of best restaurants, shops, and cafés in the country. But it’s the hard-working men who serve it all up that keep us coming back for more...
One of Portland’s hottest young baristas, Brady is famous for his java-topping flair, turning a regular cup of joe into a work of art. Every Wednesday—aka “Knit Night”—hordes of women and their needles descend on the coffeehouse, and Brady’s feeling the heat. Into the fray walks a tall, dark, and distractingly handsome stranger from New York. His name is Evren, and he’s the sexy nephew of Brady’s sweetest customer, the owner of the yarn shop down the street. He’s also got a killer smile, confident air, and masculine charm that’s tying Brady’s stomach in knots. The smitten barista can’t wait to see him at the next week’s gathering. But when he tries to ask Evren out, his plans unravel faster than an unfinished edge. If Brady hopes to warm up more than Evren’s coffee, he’ll have to find a way to untangle their feelings, get out of the friend zone, and form a close-knit bond that’s bound to last a lifetime…
How am I coming in so late on this series! Must.Read.Them.All!
Here we have a talented barista raising his younger siblings after their parents died. Brady’s twenty-three, overwhelmed, and trying to make his family function in spite of considerable challenges. Time enough for a relationship is tough to come by: he’s lucky if his eighteen year old sister doesn’t flake out on being the designated adult for the evening if he’s working.
Evren overlaps a little with work hours, especially when he comes in for a themed evening at the coffee shop, where he quickly becomes the apple of everyone’s eye, including Brady’s. His Turkish background makes him exotic, his knitting skills are his livelihood, and his particular interests make him both very exciting and nearly impossible for Brady to hit his radar. He’s come to Portland to care for the ailing aunt who helped raise him.
We get a long, slow burn, because both men’s life situations have made free time a rare commodity. Friendship looks like a better bet, because Brady comes with what Evren considers a deal breaker: he’s bisexual. Evren has some bad experiences to reinforce some negative stereotypes, making Brady wonder if he can ever convince Ev he’s a good choice for a partner.
For everyone who's been clamoring for bisexual books without erasure, here's your story. For those who say Ew! We only love the bi guys without encountering ladybits, this is your story too. This is in no way contrived, it's very organic to what's going on, and Brady is hiding nothing.
We get Brady’s POV for most of the book, which is fine: he’s a colorful character and very bright on the page. Evren’s POV comes through in snippets of his knitting blog posts, heavy with subtexts. It’s a clever take on alternating POVs and the effect is charming, letting us see Evren’s mind changing, event by event. He still advises putting a ring on the boyfriend before knitting him a sweater.
I ended up loving both these guys, and breaking my heart as theirs did, both with each other and with their home situations. The romance is lovely and heartrending all at once, and slow, while trust grows. If you require lots of ass-pounding in your story, look elsewhere, but I found the intensely emotional and everything-but sex scenes to be wonderfully refreshing.
This story will run you through every emotion you have, leaving you with a sigh of satisfaction for love fulfilled with happiness. 5 marbles
Available for purchase at
Excerpt (a naughty one)
The Portland Heat Series
About The Author
Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.
Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.
You can find Annabeth at